"...this industry currently employs or was employing about 29 million people beginning from the iron-ore mines to the dealerships and in the last two years with the kind of reduction in growth rate and slowing down of commercial vehicles etc, we have lost-we estimate at least 10 per cent of jobs across the industry," Kirloskar said.
Speaking at the 37th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce, he said: "it could be more (than 10 per cent)...we have lost more than 25-30 lakh jobs across the industry."
"It is a serious issue as far as economic growth is concerned," he added.
Stating that the automotive industry is the engine of growth for the manufacturing industry and also for the country as a whole, Kirloskar said: "mobility is important if we have to grow, not only the urban areas but also the rural areas...".
Kirloskar said: "India can be strategically placed as market India and factory India, everyone who has looked has a looking at the huge Indian market and middle class consumer look as the idea of market India, but unfortunately the potential of factory India has not been really fully exploited."
"India's unique position in the global market place as the services led economy is in contrast to the most other developing economies, including China.
"To achieve significant growth in exports and value addition in manufacturing, one has to look at the entire gambit of quality, cost and delivery and environment. We cannot look at only low labour cost as a factor in trying to be a factory India," he added.
Pointing out that it is important to develop governed policies that will enable India to have a natural advantage in quality, cost and delivery, he said "one of the biggest advantages India has is the ability to manufacture capital goods and machinery."
"The other is the vast abundance of raw material, we have great iron ore here..., so policies have to be made to use these advantages...," he added.
Kirloskar said: "India's overwhelming vote for political stability and economic change has infused the country with the new optimism that is spreading beyond our borders".
The country has to focus on manufacturing sector to enhance its growth and guaranteed sustainability, he added.